Anne LaBastille

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Biographical Information

Naturalist Anne LaBastille (died in 2001). "Both the women's and environmental movements were on the rise in 1976 when she published "Woodswoman," the first in a four-volume autobiographical series that celebrated her adventures — and inspired women across the nation to engage in the great outdoors...

"Partly to escape such intrusions, LaBastille retreated even farther into the woods, building a tiny cabin that she modeled on Henry David Thoreau's cottage on Walden Pond....

"Her reach as an environmentalist extended to Guatemala, where she had discovered the flightless bird known as the giant pied-billed grebe at Lake Atitlan while leading nature tours in 1960.

"When LaBastille returned five years later to study the rare bird, its population had declined by 50%. She wrote her doctoral dissertation for Cornell on the plight of the grebe, or "poc" as the bird was known locally, and spent 24 years campaigning to save it.

"She persuaded the Guatemalan government to make the grebe's habitat a wildlife refuge, launched educational programs and wrote about the doomed bird in her 1990 book "Mama Poc," the nickname local residents gave her...

"For 17 years she served as a member of the Adirondack Park Agency board, which regulates land use in the 6-million-acre park..."[1]

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